Empathic leadership can boost productivity and employee satisfaction. Below, we go through why this quality is becoming more and more in demand as a necessary component of successful leadership.
Understanding other people’s emotions and being able to put oneself in their shoes are two characteristics of an empathic leader.
Being aware of burnout symptoms in others and genuinely caring about the wants, aspirations, and requirements of your team members can be examples of empathy in leadership.
Leaders with empathy are ready to assist staff members with personal issues and exhibit genuine sympathy when they reveal a personal loss. A modern leader’s emotional intelligence arsenal must include empathy, which is especially important in tumultuous situations like the pandemic.
Sympathy and empathy are sometimes mistaken. Empathy fuels connection, while sympathy drives disconnection.
“I’m sorry to hear that occurred to you,” is an example of expressing sympathy for someone without actually understanding or empathizing with their situation.
Empathy entails placing oneself in another person’s shoes to understand their viewpoint, feelings, and emotions. “I am aware of your feelings. Since I been there, I am aware of how difficult it is. I am available to you.”
Being empathetic requires being vulnerable in return when someone shows vulnerability in the workplace by sharing something personal. To acknowledge our own frailties and share them with others requires courage.
Managers who are viewed as empathetic usually get much better results.
When leaders are empathetic, employees are more innovative, more engaged and believe their workplace is inclusive.
Creating an empathic culture within your team takes time. People need time to open up to the point where you can learn about and comprehend their individual circumstances. As a leader, be alert and train your empathy “radar” to recognize signs that others are struggling. These indicators might be overt—like a team member in tears—or covert—like someone being quieter than normal in meetings.
Displaying your vulnerabilities will encourage others to voice their concerns. It can be alluring to portray yourself as a “perfect” leader, free from sentiment or personal issues. Leaders who are willing to acknowledge their own vulnerability and practice it at work can establish a culture of growth. Use emotive language. Leaders often spend so much time developing their professional identity that they forget to be authentic, thereby stifling the emotional traits that inspire followership. Corporate jargon should be replaced with sincere feelings and narrative. The most crucial ability for empathetic leadership has been identified as listening. Although it can be challenging in a hectic atmosphere with many distractions, attentive, active listening can be learned.
Recognize that when someone shares a personal loss, there is no ideal reaction that would “fix” the situation. What counts is demonstrating connection and understanding.
The good news is that when you cultivate an empathic and compassionate culture in your organization, becoming an empathic leader won’t seem like a difficult trip at all.